Tbilisi, October 29, 2014
“What does Russia mean for me today? It means what it has always meant for me. Russia is a country which is looking for its true path. It was there where I obtained my theological education, graduated from the Moscow Theological Seminary and Academy. It was there where my world-view was formed and my state of mind completely developed.
“I treat Russia with high respect, I am praying for Russia,” said His Holiness Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II of All Georgia, answering a question of a reporter of Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper.
“You see, faith is the foundation of all things. Russia and Georgia have the same faith, but we have drifted apart. This fact causes me great distress. Our countries surely need to return to dialogue. Because Georgia is an abode of the Mother of God. Politicians are striving to separate our peoples, but, glory be to God, they fail in doing this.
“I believe that our peoples will find the strength and wisdom to stop and to look at each other. There is no need to examine closely what we have in common—it is evident. Our countries must not be alienated any further from each other, we should apologize to each other, draw conclusions and begin the dialogue.
“Orthodox people must not bomb other Orthodox people. Our politicians must sit down at the negotiating table without fail and come to an agreement. It cannot be otherwise. Please convey my warmest wishes for all good things and prosperity to Russia”.